If you are an angler looking for a way to access remote lakes, you’ll need a boat that’s easy to transport. If you’re an angler who doesn’t have a garage or backyard, you’ll need a boat you can store in a small indoor space. Anglers in either circumstance, or those who simply value ease of storage and transport, should look to inflatable fishing kayaks.
Having the right fishing kayak to support you on the water can make a huge difference in the quality of your experience. Inflatable fishing kayaks take the performance features from polyethylene kayaks and put them into a lightweight and packable solution.
These inflatable fishing kayaks by Hobie, STAR Inflatables, Sea Eagle, Innova Kayak, Advanced Elements, AIRE, Aquaglide and more offer a wide variety of options to get you on the water—and, more importantly, into those hard-to-reach lakes.
Here are the best inflatable fishing kayaks on the market today:
- Hobie Mirage Inflatable 12
- STAR Pike Inflatable Fishing Kayak
- Sea Eagle FastTrack Angler 385FTA
- Innova Kayak Halibut
- Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO
- AIRE IK Angler
- Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 125 HB
- Intex Excursion Pro Kayak
- Airhead Angler Bay Inflatable Boat
- Elkton Outdoors Steelhead Fishing Kayak
[This article is part of the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide for The Best Fishing Kayaks for 2021. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations.]
The Mirage Inflatable 12 from Hobie features all the cruising capability and space of a full-sized kayak, while being infinitely portable. The 12-foot-long Mirage i12s inflatable PVC-vinyl hull offers speed without sacrificing stability. An above-deck bungee-secured storage area provides generous hauling capacity, perfect for weekend escapes or provisioning trips ashore from the family cruiser. This is a pedal-drive kayak, and the i12s MirageDrive delivers all-day comfort and performance. It’s now available with the reversing MirageDrive 180 with Kick-Up Fins.
View all Hobie inflatable fishing kayaks.
The Pike Inflatable Fishing Kayak from STAR Inflatables allows you to reach places you couldn’t in a conventional boat. With the lightweight, highly portable (and portage-able) Pike IK, they’ve opened up even more hard-to-reach waters for the kayak angler. The Pike delivers the stability, capacity and outfitting you need to fish effectively in a lightweight and durable design you can take with you anywhere.
The FastTrack Angler 385FTA from Sea Eagle is a lightweight, one- to two-person inflatable fishing kayak made to get you where the fish are quietly and quickly. The patented external NeedleKnife keel cuts through water and the sprayskirts are customized with two rod holders and cutouts for hooks and tools, keeping your trusted gear an arm’s length away.
The Halibut is Innova۪ Kayak‘s first inflatable fishing kayak. The Halibut is engineered to be tough, yet sufficiently agile and fast. The slip-resistant floor adds the necessary stability to cast-off and reel-in. The high-standing adjustable seat guarantees comfort during embarking, disembarking and trolling the waters. The Halibut comes with a well-defined tracking fin for added maneuverability. As with all Innova kayaks, the Halibut is portable. It weighs 38 pounds compared to the average 70 pounds of a hard-shell, and the Halibut packs up into its own dry transport bag. This Halibut comes with a ton of accessories: a bottle holder, Cannon fishing rod holder, sonar bracket, tracking fin, safety ropes and more.
Designed for the kayak angler, the StraitEdge Angler PRO from Advanced Elements has great stability, multi-layer material, and multiple air chambers, providing maximum durability. Its removable Accessory Frame System allows anglers to customize the kayak with aftermarket accessories. It also features a drop-stitch floor for rigidity and standup capability, as well as Advanced Element’s ultra-comfortable AirFrame PRO seat.
Read Kayak Angler‘s full review of the Advanced Elements StraitEdge Angler PRO. Watch our video review of StraitEdge Angler PRO specs and features. View all Advanced Elements inflatable fishing kayaks.
The IK Angler 11’ from AIRE is a fishing-specific kayak designed for avid fishermen who want to access more open water. Built for comfort, the adjustable seat will have you sitting above the water to make casting a breeze and provides support for your lower back. This kayak is lightweight, compact and includes AIRE’s Integrated Gear System (IGS) which incorporates a movable base in a sleeve that accepts cargo pockets, rod holders and anchor mounts.
View all AIRE inflatable fishing kayaks.
Named after the legendary Blackfoot River in Montana, the Blackfoot series from Aquaglide is designed with the true technical angler in mind. The Blackfoot Angler 125 HB features a drop-stitch HardBottom floor and durable Duratex body—technical features that serve to enhance your on-water experience. Scotty mounts offer places to stow rods or oar locks, while D-rings provide additional spots for tying down gear.
View all Aquaglide inflatable fishing kayaks.
The Excursion Pro Kayak from Intex is made with features like adjustable seats and built-in foot rests to keep you comfortable. Fishing rod holders on each side allow for hands-free fishing, and a waterproof bag latches into the front for anything you need to carry out on the water with you. Since it’s inflatable, the Excursion Pro is easy to stow in a car. Even when inflated, handles on the front and back provide an easy way to carry it over land or onto a beach. Packaged with a pair of aluminum oars and an air pump, the Intex Excursion Pro Kayak has everything you need to start enjoying your day on the lake, river or ocean.
Angler Bay Inflatable Boats from Airhead are designed to give you all the components you need to have a great fishing adventure. There are two rod holders, multiple molded drink holders, four drain plugs, a battery storage bag and a ditty bag. It’s lightweight, portable and ideal for lakes and slow-moving streams. The Angler Bay is constructed of heavy-duty vinyl with electronically welded seams. Comfort features include an inflatable floor and a movable seat.
The Steelhead Fishing Kayak from Elkton Outdoors is built for fishing. Features include attachments and storage with multiple Scotty-style attachment points, a long waterline with two skegs for long glides and good tracking, firm plastic nose cones on both front and rear tips, 1,000D reinforced layered PVC, and self-bailing drains in the floor. The Steelhead requires minimal setup and includes a travel bag and pump.
How we chose the best inflatable fishing kayaks
We consider several factors when choosing the best inflatable fishing kayaks. From ensuring we judge the kayak according to its intended purpose to making sure you’re actually able to buy it, here are the things we consider when picking the kayak in each category:
- Purpose. Comparing apples to apples.
- Performance. How well does it do its job?
- Features. Sometimes we’re all about bells and whistles, sometimes not.
- Real-world testing. We put them to the test on the water.
- Price. Is it affordable? Does its performance justify its cost?
- Sales. Best-selling models are best-sellers for a reason.
- Availability. It won’t be good if you can’t buy it.
- Designer and brand interviews. We ask the people who made it why.
Let’s find you the perfect inflatable fishing kayak
Use the Kayak Angler Buyer’s Guide‘s reviews, specs and expert rankings to help you find the right kayak at the right price. Find all the best fishing kayaks from the top brands for all situations in The Best Fishing Kayaks for 2021.